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Parole reforms win key allies in Lansing

May 31, 2018

Credit Flickr user FatMandy / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan’s top prosecutor is on board with proposed changes to how the state parole board determines if an inmate can be released from prison.

The bill gives the parole board a specific list of objective reasons for denying an inmate parole – like the inmate shows a pattern of ongoing behavior that shows the inmate would be a substantial risk to public safety. Another reason is if the inmate fails to complete a program ordered by the prison system.

The goal is to parole inmates who can safely re-enter society and reduce the prison population.

“We have to look at this from a standpoint and making sure that individuals that are incarcerated, almost all of which are going to be coming out back into society have taken a self-interest in themselves and their rehabilitation,” said bill sponsor Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township.

Last year, Schuette opposed a proposal to release well-behaved inmates after serving their minimum sentence. But Schuette supports the new proposal, which passed out of the state House this week.

“This is a country of second chances,” Schuette said. “What you want to make sure when someone comes out of prison there’s an opportunity for a job and some hope.”

The legislation is now waiting for action from the state Senate.

You can find more information about HB 5377 on the Legislature's website.